Members, Sign In. Not a member? Sign Up

Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014

Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014

Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile

Posted:
6/9/14 at
10:19:57 PM

Last Tuesday (June 3, 2014) I visited Six Flags Magic Mountain for the first time in nearly 5 years (prior visit was October 30, 2009). My plan was to spend Tuesday afternoon at the park, get a hotel in Valencia and then return on Wednesday morning.

Since it's been nearly five years I was excited to try rides like Full Throttle, the updated Superman Escape from Krypton, and most excited about Lex Luther Drop of Doom. Unfortunately, Lex Luther did not happen. While it was working when I arrived, it went down and never reopened.

I have no complaints, only compliments about the operations or employees in general. Six Flags has improved immensely in the recent years and Magic Mountain seems to have benefited from the change in direction.

However, after a few hours in the park I decided that one-day was going to be enough. Lines were ideal, short to non-existent, but what really made me decide to skip the second day is the attraction lineup.

Magic Mountain offers little more than just a lot of roller coasters and overall when it comes to coasters it's more about quantity than quality. Very few of the coasters offer an experience that makes me want to jump back in line and ride again.

Outside of roller coasters the park really lacks anything else. Upon arrival the ticket booths reflected that Roaring Rapids was closed, which I learned was not the case. However, the Yo-Yo, Swinging Pirate Ship, Observation Tower, Road Runner Express family coaster, and Whistlestop train were closed.

I arrived at about 2:00 pm, parked, and started at Full Throttle. The line was less than 10 minutes for my first ride ever. My conclusion after two rides, both in the second to the last row, is that it's fun, but way too short. Did the park only buy half the ride and skip out on the second half?

But what upset me about Full Throttle wasn't the ride, but how disrespectful management was to what once was one the most beautiful and charming areas of the park. Log Jammer was a great log flume and it takes decades for trees and landscaping to mature. Instead of carefully building a new ride in this area they bulldozed it and poured concrete. It's a travesty!

They knocked down the trees, adjacent restaurant facility, water features and just poured concrete all over or left it dirt. In fact, the end result makes it appear as if they ran out of money to finish the queue, station, and surrounding area. The cheap concert tent entrance is of such poor taste!

Why didn't they reuse the shaded queue building from the Log Jammer for Full Throttle? Why not retain some of the water ponds and waterfalls? What about the trees? Goldrusher's first drop used to descend into this beautiful hillside with lush trees and water features. Now the area appears as if a nuclear bomb blew it all away.

It's decisions like this that just leave me scratching my head. Personally, I think decisions like this speak loudly about the park's management team and I can add that the folks who run the two Six Flags parks in Texas make the management team at Magic Mountain look bad!

Since Lex Luther was closed, next up was Green Lantern. For me it's a credit and that's it. It's an awful ride. I knew in advance after riding the one at Gröna Lund in Stockholm last summer that I would hate it and I hated it.

However, the DC Comics area of the park looked great! After 20 years the landscaping is maturing so nicely. All of the buildings and coasters looked recently painted with many bright colors and I my impressions was "Wow" this is becoming one of the nicer areas of the park. It's a shame that Green Lantern is such a lousy ride, but fortunately it's a nice ride to look at and everything else in this area looks great as well.

Batman The Ride Backwards was my next ride. It's a pretty good inverted coaster, but I'm bored of the layout since it can be found in nearly ever Six Flags park. In fact, in San Antonio the same ride can be found at both SeaWorld and Fiesta Texas. Reversing the seats ended up being a gimmick and not an improvement over forwards. I rode it twice, both times in the last row for an unobstructed view.

Riddler's Revenge- Does anyone get off a stand-up and proclaim- I want to ride again? Nope. It's a big flagship ride, but one ride is more than enough. Stand-up roller coasters are a gimmick and just not that much fun. The loading process is painfully slow. It's also uncomfortable while you wait for the attendants to lock the seat backs into position.

I then decided to walk to the front the park to ride Revolution. Here I found that they've let the water features under the station fall into a state of disrepair and filled in the collection pond under the final helix with dirt. The water features made this area extra special and they've just let it fall apart.

The ride experience however was better than I remember, but the restraints are just terrible. Revolution would be a top roller coaster for me if it were not for the awful over-the-shoulder restraints. It's such a great terrain layout.

After two rides I walked to X2, expecting to find a long line, but it had no wait. A few things surprised me about X2. First, and I don't think I've ever been concerned about this at any park, but the condition or appearance of the trains was a little disturbing. Do they maintain these? The operator had to ask me to move seats because she couldn't adjust the over-the-shoulder restraint that was super sun burned and crusty.

X2 still has an amazing first drop, which really got the adrenaline pumping (a rare thing), but the ride is unbearably rough. I wanted to ride over and over with no wait, but I couldn't do it. I felt like my brain was rattling against my skull during the entire ride. This is not pleasurable, so I moved on to Viper.

Viper holds a special place with me since I was there on the day it opened in 1990. However, Arrow Megaloopers are just not that great. They go upside down over and over and that's pretty much it. I would hate to see Viper go from a nostalgic point, but at the same time I really have little desire to get in line to ride it. I rode it once for old times sake.

After Viper I climbed up the hill and passed by Tatsu on the way to Ninja. Those of you who love it can have it. I think the park did an amazing job building Tatsu on the mountain, retaining the beautiful landscaping, but the pretzel loop is too much. While I've grown to love Manta at SeaWorld Orlando, the rest of the B&M Flyers I skip.

Ninja- This is by far my favorite roller coaster at Magic Mountain. It's not my favorite suspended coaster (Vortex at Canada's Wonderland and The Bat at Kings Island are tired for #1, Big Bad Wolf #2), but it is a great ride. This is really the only roller coaster at this park that I want to ride over and over. I rode in the front row four times, twice not having to even leave the front seat. This is a really fun, pleasurable ride.

Next up was Colossus Backwards. Ironically, the park announced this day that Colossus would be closing forever in mid-August, which is something I've known about for about three years now. Let's just say Colossus won't be missed.

What little was left of the original Colossus I remember so well died around 1991-1992. Other than being an iconic landmark, Colossus is a pathetic ride. Most of the track is steel I-beam, not wood layered track, which make me wonder if it was the inspiration for Rocky Mountain Construction's IBox track system.

Backwards Colossus with the only B&M wood coaster trains in existence is a brutal ride. Once was enough and I was happy to walk off with just enough time for another ride.

I hiked back up the hill and finished the night with two rides on Superman Escape from Krypton. I was excited to try it with the trains reversed and this is one of the few times where I think backwards is an improvement. The launch was more powerful and continues for longer than I remember. The alternate experience of looking down versus up the tower is great. It's a yet another gimmick coaster, but it's smooth and always fun.

Aside from skipping Tatsu I also skipped on purpose a couple of major roller coasters. Goliath is arguably the worst, most confusing hypercoaster in existence. The ramp first drop offers no thrills or airtime, and after the one highlight of the ride – the airtime hill – the designer clearly forgot what he was to design. Is it a hypercoaster or a twister?

I didn't want to ride the parking lot coaster– Scream. The setting is such a let down and after a generally good experience at Magic Mountain I didn't need to be reminded about the park's bad years and some of the lousy decisions that were made in that era. Scream should be removed and moved to a park in the chain that needs a roller coaster of this kind. However, should it be moved, hopefully it will not be re-erected over an portion of that park's asphalt parking lot. Magic Mountain could improve Scream with landscaping!

I skipped Goldrusher as well after seeing what they did to the area where the first drop interacts with Full Throttle. I have great childhood memories of this roller coaster, the first drop was a favorite and I'd rather not ruin the memories I'm so fond of.

Aside from Lex Luther the only roller coaster I would've liked to have ridden but didn't is Apocalypse. I just didn't have enough time to do so. I walked by it and found it peculiar that they've painted the structure.

Overall from an operations and employee perspective the park was great, but from an attraction stand point Magic Mountain disappoints. Ninja is one of the few roller coasters that I want to ride over and over. I would add Revolution to the list if it were not for the restraints. However, as I stated in the beginning, this visit just reconfirms my opinion that when it comes to roller coasters Six Flags Magic Mountain is all about quantity, not quality.

* This post was modified at 6/11/14 2:12:04 PM *

--
Eric
Ultimate Rollercoaster Moderator
Re: Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014 by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 6/11/14 10:23:00 AM
X2, Tatsu, and Apocalypse are the coasters I want to ride most there.

Why don't you like Tatsu? You mentioned the pretzel loop, but not what you don't like about it. Is it the force/orientation?

Nice review, very interesting to see your opinons on the rides.

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014 by drachen drachen Profile at 6/11/14 12:48:40 PM
Great write up Eric. I agree wholeheartedly that Six Flags is improving things across the board - they still have work to do at Magic Mountain and Great Adventure.

It's just hard to escape the poor decisions made over the past 15 years or so. And when you factor recent decisions like Full Throttle and Rolling Thunder's removal, you have to wonder if these parks even get it.

I'm really sorry to hear about Full Throttle's appearance. My thought on seeing its announcement was "What's the point?". They certainly didn't need the coaster. It's a waste of space and a waste of what was a fantastic log flume. It would have fit much better at another park.

I agree about Scream! too. It too is a waste of space that would be better suited for Six Flags America or Six Flags St. Louis.

I'm glad you enjoyed your time, and I'm glad to hear that operations were good - not something I've ever seen there. I've also bookmarked 'early June weekday' in my mind as a good time to go.

Did you make it to Knott's?

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.94 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.56 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Facebook: Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014 by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 6/11/14 2:17:35 PM
I would love Tatsu if they would omit the Pretzel Loop. The pretzel loop feels as if it forceably removes all of the oxygen from your lungs, flattens your chest, and frankly it just kills me. I don't feel well after this experience. It's a shame too since the rest of the ride is quite good.

The only other downside to a Flyer is the loading unloading procedure. If the trains stack and you're forced to wait on the brake run the flying position is really uncomfortable. I've had delays of several minutes to one time nearly 10 minutes of waiting. It would be nice if the train would revert to the seated position in the final brake run.

--
Eric
Ultimate Rollercoaster Moderator
Re: Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014 by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 6/11/14 2:34:02 PM
drachen said:

I'm really sorry to hear about Full Throttle's appearance. My thought on seeing its announcement was "What's the point?". They certainly didn't need the coaster. It's a waste of space and a waste of what was a fantastic log flume. It would have fit much better at another park.

I did make it to Knott's and Soak City. Twice in fact.

I don't think the removal of Rolling Thunder was a bad decision. It was a lousy ride and ridership reflected that fact.

When you add new attractions you either add or replace. If you add you increase your operation and maintenance expenses. If you replace your maintenance and operation expenses are more likely to remain the same. Great Adventure is getting that amazing drop ride in exchange for Rolling Dumpster.

The decision to remove Log Jammer is different. Magic Mountain didn't need another roller coaster and I'm convinced that having the record for the most roller coasters doesn't equate to more attendance. Log Jammer was important since it was a water ride in a park that is in a hot climate. It also added diversity to the attraction lineup which is something Magic Mountain is in dire need of.

Also, up until the day it closed it was a popular ride. Ridership was not an issue so after all the years it remained popular with park visitors. A 45-minute wait was routine on even slightly less than average attendance day. Magic Mountain should've restored Log Jammer or replaced it with an equivalent ride.

The park didn't need another roller coaster and especially half-a-ride. Full Throttle ends by having you go over-the-top of that huge loop, but before you're 1/4 of the way into the descent you're hitting the brakes and the ride is ending.

Every one wants a happy ending to a ride. This is a lousy ending! This should've been the half way or 2/3 point to this ride.

* This post was modified at 6/11/14 2:37:45 PM *

--
Eric
Ultimate Rollercoaster Moderator
Re: Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014 by drachen drachen Profile at 6/11/14 2:40:36 PM
Eric_Gieszl said:

The only other downside to a Flyer is the loading unloading procedure. If the trains stack and you're forced to wait on the brake run the flying position is really uncomfortable. I've had delays of several minutes to one time nearly 10 minutes of waiting. It would be nice if the train would revert to the seated position in the final brake run.

I've said the same thing about the B&M's. I don't get why they didn't design them to rotate to the upright position on the brake run. It's way too uncomfortable to hang like that.

I haven't been to Magic Mountain since 2005. But when I get back, Tatsu will likely be a 'once and done' like the rest of the flyers out there. Talk about gimmicks...

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.94 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.56 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Facebook: Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014 by drachen drachen Profile at 6/11/14 2:47:16 PM
Eric_Gieszl said:

I did make it to Knott's and Soak City. Twice in fact.

I don't think the removal of Rolling Thunder was a bad decision. It was a lousy ride and ridership reflected that fact.

When you add new attractions you either add or replace. If you add you increase your operation and maintenance expenses. If you replace your maintenance and operation expenses are more likely to remain the same. Great Adventure is getting that amazing drop ride in exchange for Rolling Dumpster.

I disagree about Rolling Thunder. It's a wooden ride, first of all, meaning that it's never completely beyond repair.

The layout was actually very good. The problem was the park let it get to the physical condition where it just wasn't a good ride any more.

Now, I have to reserve total judgement, because I don't think the park is done with that area by any means. Zumanjaro was phase one, and something else will sit in Rolling Thunder's footprint.

Time will tell whether it was a wise move - removing a high capacity racing coaster that could have been a perennial favorite if properly maintained.

If Great Adventure gets a Full Throttle clone... well, we know where I'll stand...

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.94 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.56 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
Facebook: Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014 by John_Knotts John_Knotts Profile at 6/14/14 7:33:36 PM
I agree about Full Throttle (although I love the ride). From what I understand, Log Jammer was doomed regardless due to operating costs and tough to maintain parts. It's replacement should have been another water ride, but the CEO is a former Paramount guy with a great relationship with Premier Rides. Supposedly the the cost for FT was insanely cheap for a launch coaster, something like $6 million, which is unheard of.

The ride is much too short but I really enjoy it's gimmicks (the huge loop and backwards launch into a third inversion).

Supposedly, the park has been saving up it's pennies for what is coming next year...

Re: Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014 by SirWillow SirWillow Profile at 6/15/14 7:14:24 PM
John_Knotts said:


Supposedly, the park has been saving up it's pennies for what is coming next year...

it'll be the Colossus redo, but it's to bad that it's not more improvements around the park and a nice package of flats, dark ride, flume and others that the park could really use- and has been in desperate need of for a long time.

Re: Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014 by mikesmail76 at 6/20/14 3:27:20 PM
I agree with you, Eric, on nearly everything you said. Overall, it seems that Six Flags just doesn't have the magic it did when I was 5-12 yrs of age. I have never cared for suspended and stand-up coasters, and I am especially displeased by all rides that are very short (I'd like to think that my $40 ticket, $10 burger, and $4 drink could easily go toward a few extra feet of roller coaster track). I would MUCH rather go to a park that has three GOOD coasters than 15 so-so coasters.
Re: Six Flags Magic Mountain TR - June 3, 2014 by HamptonRoadsRider HamptonRoadsRider Profile at 6/23/14 10:40:20 PM
Great write up. Ive never been to SFMM but feel if i did, i would write the same review. You seem to have the same taste and feelings about parks and coasters, right down to the pretzel loop forces being a bit much. Fun element, but i got the same feeling you noted.

Your review reminded me of my trip to six flags america. At least they have superman ROS to make it seem somewhat worthwhile.